When I was sick last year a friend came and helped us out for a week. On one of my few visits to the kitchen I discovered a clean microwave and felt so cared for. Emily ran upstairs at another moment and exclaimed, “Mom, you should see the floor. It is so clean! I love it!” That week I realized that a clean house has a huge and meaningful impact; it heals and comforts.
With my focus on nurturing this year, I decided to start with a clean house as a blank slate. I’ve been slowly reading the Flylady book and actually (*mostly) doing what she says (I’ve read the book a few times but now I’m jumping all in instead of picking and choosing).
In January we did another major overhaul of Emily’s and Nathan’s room. We moved Laura’s clothes out of her dresser so she has a drawer for her papers and another for her treasures (commonly found covering every inch of her room). Now everything really has a spot and we’ve been working to put things away at night so she has a fresh start.
I sold the baby swing that had taken up permanent residence in the corner of Nathan’s room. This opened up a corner for his trains. We also set up a basket for his extra blankets and few special toys. He mostly looks at books when he is in there so his space is really simple.
Nathan currently lives in his “Polar Bear pajamas” 75% of the time. Even if I convince him to change in the morning, by the afternoon he has them back on.
I’ve been hauling everything out of my room that doesn’t belong (the kids things that find there way in). I also went through all of my clothes and things in my closet and donated two full garbage bags. In the process of sorting clothes more books, toys, and pens found there way back in, so I still need to remove those items. I’m so much closer to a clean room!
Andrew and I sorted through ALL the papers in our home. He shredded a huge stack. I also started binders for all the kids to file letters, artwork, important papers, and few pictures.
During a particularly stressful day I decided that the chaos of our entryway (winter clothes, diaper bag, shoes, carseat, diapers and wipes) was unnecessarily influencing my mood. After the kids went to bed Andrew and I brainstormed a whole lot of options for building a storage center. At the end of the night we decided save time and go with the cheapest option: a better homes and garden storage cube organizer from walmart. When the UPS man dropped it off a week later he told me he had just ordered two for himself and was really excited for us.
The kids helped me put it together in about fifteen minutes. They turned it into a bed while I was feeding Laura but I quickly redirected to its intended use. It has made a huge difference in keeping the front room tidy!
I experimented with loads of systems for how to do laundry in January. At the end of the month I bought two new laundry baskets ($3.98 each from target!). I’ll write about my discoveries in a future post – I now have lots to say on the subject. Here is what the kids think about the development.
The next step for a clean house is developing routines to keep it that way. The laundry was my first experiment. Now I’m moving on how stay on top of the rest of the house in the simplest way possible.